Katyn and “The Good War”
(The American Conservative) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan --
The decapitation of the Polish government last weekend, including President Lech Kaczynski and the military leadership, on that flight to Smolensk to commemorate the Katyn Massacre, brings to mind the terrible and tragic days and deeds of what many yet call the Good War.
From Russian reports, the Polish pilot waved off four commands from air traffic control to divert to Moscow or Minsk. The airfield at Smolensk was fogged in. There is speculation that Kaczynski, fiercely nationalistic and distrustful of Russians, may have defiantly ordered his pilot to land, rather than delay the 70th anniversary of Katyn. The symbolism is inescapable.
For it was Polish defiance of Adolf Hitler’s demand to negotiate the return of Danzig, a German town put under Polish control after World War I, that gave birth to the Hitler-Stalin Pact, which led to Katyn.
After the German invasion on Sept. 1, 1939, ignited the war, Joseph Stalin attacked Poland from the east on Sept. 17, capturing much of the Polish officer corps.
In April 1940, on Stalin’s order, the Soviet Secret Police, the NKVD, murdered virtually the entire leadership of the nation, including 8,000 officers and near twice that number of intellectuals and civilian leaders. Some 4,000 were shot with their hands tied behind their backs in Katyn Forest.
The Germans unearthed the bodies in 1943 and invited the Red Cross in to examine the site. Through newspapers found on the corpses, the date of the atrocity was fixed as more than a year before the German Army invaded the Soviet Union.
When Polish patriots, whose sons had flown with the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, went to Winston Churchill to demand that he get answers from Stalin about the atrocity, he brushed them off.
“There is no sense prowling around the three-year-old graves of Smolensk,” said the Great Man.
At Stalin’s request, Churchill bullied the Poles into acceding to Soviet annexation of all the Polish land Stalin had been awarded for signing his pact with Hitler.
At the Nuremberg trials, the Russian delegation, led by Andrei Vishinsky, the prosecutor who did Stalin’s dirty work in the purge trials, charged the Germans with the massacre.
This presented a problem for the Americans and British who knew the truth. They finessed the issue by leaving the charge unresolved.
Before, during and after the Nuremberg trials that would convict the Nazis of “crimes against humanity,” one of the greatest crimes against humanity in history was being committed. Fifteen million Germans — old men, women, children — were driven like cattle out of ancestral homes in Prussia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Silesia and the Sudetenland.
As human rights champion Alfred de Zayas wrote in his courageous “Nemesis at Potsdam: The Expulsion of the Germans From the East,” perhaps 2 million died in the exodus. Few German women in Eastern Europe escaped rape.
The Allies turned a blind eye to the monstrous atrocity, as ancient names vanished. Memel became Klaipeda. Prussia disappeared. Koenigsberg, the city of Immanuel Kant, became Kaliningrad. Danzig became Gdansk. Breslau became Wroclaw.
“The Germans deserved it, for what they did,” comes the retort.
Undeniably, the Nazi atrocities were numerous and horrible — against Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Jews.
Yet, it was innocent Germans who paid for the crimes of the guilty Germans.
What happened in Eastern and Central Europe from 1939 to 1948 provided proof, if any more were really needed, of the truth of W.H. Auden’s insight in his poem “September 1, 1939″: “Those to whom evil is done do evil in return.”
At war’s end, Churchill and Harry Truman agreed to repatriate 2 million Soviet prisoners of war to Stalin, none of whom wished to go back. For return to Russia meant death at the railhead or a short brutal life at slave labor in the Gulag Archipelago.
Operation Keelhaul was the name given the Allied collusion with the Red Army in transferring these terrified POWs back to their deaths at the hands of the same Soviet butchers who had done the murdering at Katyn.
On Sept. 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany to restore the integrity and independence of Poland. For this great goal they converted a German-Polish clash that lasted three weeks — into a world war lasting six years.
And was Poland saved? No. Poland was crucified...MORE...LINK
Buchanan: ‘“The Germans deserved it, for what they did,” comes the retort. Undeniably, the Nazi atrocities were numerous and horrible — against Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Jews. Yet, it was innocent Germans who paid for the crimes of the guilty Germans.’
Chris Moore comments:
The other context that needs to be pointed out is the precedent-setting State-organized and implemented mass murder of Christians and dissidents that took place in the Soviet Union prior to the rise of the Nazis -- mass murder that killed millions more of its own citizens than even Hitler did, and put Europe on a trajectory of fear and loathing that culminated in the Holocaust.
And like so much of the sickening, hidden-hand mischief of today, Wall Street was key to the rise of Communism in the first place (see WALL STREET AND THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION, By Antony C. Sutton).
UPDATE: Apologists for Stalin and Communism who believe he was on the side of the angels for helping defeat Hitler can’t see the forest for the trees. He and his henchmen were WORSE than Hitler, and it was their actions that were largely responsible for Nazism’s rise in the first place. None of this excuses the Nazis, but let’s be realistic about the evils of Communism.
In terms of a plan to take over and enslave Europe, Hitler simply beat the Communists to the punch.
Eberhard Jackel’s ‘Hitler’s World View’ makes clear that Hitler always intended to either partner with either Russia or England in his plans for growing German living space and colonial domination — and indeed, he ended up partnering with Russia in the take down of Poland.
Hitler and the Germans became the all purpose whipping boy in the history as written by the Western victors, who didn’t want to admit that they themselves partnered with forces probably even more evil in Stalin and Communism. Exaggerating Hitler’s evil helped justify partnering with Stalin, and build the heroic, politically useful, mythological legend of the unqualified “Good War.”
BTW, Patton wanted to take out Stalin after defeating Hitler, but was sabotaged by the FDR Dems and the Wall Street money powers, probably for both ideological purposes and profit.